As Baltimore’s Arts Council, BOPA is committed to focusing on the importance of Census completion within the creative community. The promotional campaign “I’m Creative & I Count” was implemented into BOPA’s programming and events in early 2020 with the goal of engaging Baltimore’s thriving community of creatives. The campaign has since been adapted to engage through social media, featuring videos and live online performances from Baltimore based artists.

By participating in the Census, you give proper representation to Baltimore’s community of artists, musicians, educators and other creatives.

Invitations for the 2020 U.S. Census were mailed to residences earlier this year. Due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Census self-response deadline has been extended to Saturday, October 31, 2020.

Look for the 2020 U.S. Census invitations in the mail at home. Participation is easy and responses can be submitted online, by mailed paper form, or by calling the Census Bureau.

As part of the “I’m Creative & I Count” campaign, BOPA has distributed brochures, buttons, stickers and information about the importance of the Census, while continuing to reach out to our creative city virtually through our social media.

BOPA also spoke with Baltimore-based artists about what it means to be a part of our vibrant creative community. Take a look at their stories below:

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Enoch Pratt Free Library makes access to literature and other library resources easy. Take a look at these services for delivery and pickup at your local branch.

Books by Mail delivery service option has expanded availability to all Baltimore City customers.
Sidewalk Service is a contact-free way to check out and pick up books & other materials from the Pratt Library.

Learn more about these programs, and other virtual resources, at

“and then…she realized she was enough,” acrylic, collage, and relief carving on wood panel, by LaToya Hobbs, FY19 IAA recipient

Join Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) Program Directors Emily Sollenberger and Laura Weiss as they host two virtual Information Sessions about the 2021 Independent Artist Awards (IAA) on Friday, June 19 at 10 a.m. and Tuesday, July 7 at 4 p.m..

Emily and Laura will walk through the IAA application, work sample requirements, the scoring rubric, and review process. There will also be plenty of time for questions and answers. 

Registration is not required; meetings will be held on Google Meet at the links below:

Friday, June 19 at 10 AM:
Join by phone: (US) +1 402-509-9660‬ PIN: ‪118 959 073‬#

Tuesday, July 7 at 4 PM:
Join by phone: ‪(US) +1 304-503-3085‬ PIN: ‪396 167 361‬#

MSAC’s Independent Artist Awards (IAAs) recognize achievement by Maryland artists making work independent of an institution or organization. The awards are accompanied by grants of $2,000, $10,000, and $15,000 that encourage artistic growth and sustained practice. 2021 IAAs will recognize artists in the Visual/Media Arts

For further details and information, including IAA Guidelines, please visit our website here.

IAA Deadline: Friday, July 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.



New Digital Platforms Provide Direct Support to Baltimore-Based Artists, Galleries, and Collectives at

The BMA Salon launches with 11 online exhibitions developed by Baltimore-based galleries and artist collectives. The presentations include images and details about the featured artworks available for purchase, background on the presenting organization, and contact details to access further information. Each gallery and collective will handle their own transactions and keep the proceeds in full. The BMA Salon was established with the vision to cultivate new audiences for participants and enhance their networks. The BMA has provided each participant with $2,500 as an organizing fee to support their work in creating the presentations. Nine other organizations will be added to the website in mid July.

The BMA Screening Room debuts with 48 video works created by 21 Baltimore-based and Baltimore-born artists. The works will live as part of an evolving online repository, providing increased exposure for the artists during a moment when there are few exhibition opportunities and offering the museum’s audiences new dynamic content with which to engage. The BMA has also paid each participating artist a licensing fee, ranging from $500 to $750, to feature their work as part of the new platform. The BMA Screening Room is slated to feature 50 artists, adding artists and videos through time.

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After postponing the opening due to COVID-19, the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar returns for its 43rd season this Sunday, June 14. We have missed seeing you each week, but this postponement has allowed us to plan out the healthiest and safest way to reopen during this health crisis. This Sunday, things will look and feel differently under the JFX. While we are used to gathering, socializing, and shopping together, we have had to redesign the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar – for now – to focus on operating only as an essential food source. This is not permanent; however, it is necessary in order to open the Market in the safest way possible.

In the past few weeks, we have seen the country come together in an impressive show of solidarity against injustice and racism. As BOPA opens the market this weekend, we consider the importance of equal access to healthy environments, good food and safety as a way to address systemic issues such as food deserts that prevent communities from gaining access to much needed resources. Access to our market provides fresh food with the goal of contributing to the health and nutrition of all Baltimore residents.

As we reach out to farmers and food vendors to provide services at the market, we are cognizant that those resources should accurately reflect Baltimore. We continue to network with Black and urban farmers, but we could use your assistance in identifying diverse farmers within the agriculture community who can make our market team stronger, more equitable and more representative of the City we love.

In addition, the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar has been an annual platform for a diverse group of Baltimore-based artists and makers to showcase their crafts and grow as entrepreneurs. Since we are opening a food source only in this initial phase, we look forward to eventually resuming the Bazaar and bringing in more of our beloved vendors as they grow their businesses here in Baltimore. While we cannot welcome our Bazaar vendors to the market at this time, we have made their names and contact information available on the BOPA website so that you can contact them directly.

We are looking forward to seeing you this weekend and throughout the season. While the market will be different as we maintain social distancing, wear our masks and shop expeditiously so that others can also shop, we hope you’ll still feel the empowering sense of community as we resume this beloved Sunday tradition.

Please be well and stay safe,

Donna Drew Sawyer
CEO, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts


The full list of changes, restrictions and recommendations for the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar is available here.

Over the past several months, Baltimore’s creative community has had to make significant adjustments to the ways in which we all interact with the arts. With stay-at-home orders, gathering restrictions and social distancing, many arts programs, classes and activities can no longer happen the way they once did. Thinking creatively, Baltimore individuals and organizations have looked to virtual opportunities to keep the arts thriving during this time.

BOPA is proud to feature Baltimore and Maryland arts organizations that have had to make these necessary adjustments. 

Today’s spotlight is on Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, a leader in the Maryland cultural community know for their innovative productions of Shakespeare’s works and other classics. With performances canceled, the team has been working hard to produce virtual content and adapt their summer programming. Read more below to see how they have been able to shift from the stage to the screen over the past few months.

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The Overlea ArtsFest is a family-friendly annual arts festival and juried art show organized by the Overlea Community Association to celebrate the visual & performing arts, and to promote local artists and their work.
Artists of all genres and all levels of experience are welcome to submit their work to compete for prizes in up to nine different juried categories.

The Overlea ArtsFest is (normally) held on the first Saturday of June each year, from 10 AM til 6 PM. Because of COVID-19, the event will be postponed until August 15. A week-long virtual event will celebrate our artists, performers and community. The call for artists is now open, with more information below.

It is FREE to attend the festival, partake in the activities and enjoy the performances. Artists are not charged a fee to submit their work for the juried show, nor are they charged a commission on any work sold during the show, which makes ArtsFest a very “pro-artist” event. The goal of the ArtsFest Committee is to provide a respectful and joyful experience for both the artists and the performers, as well as the attendees of the event.

Call for Artists

Calling on Maryland and DC visual artists to submit to the 2020 Overlea ArtsFest Juried Show. Applications accepted in nine categories of 2D, 3D and Short Film. Cash prizes for winners, no application fee, and no commission on sales.

Application Deadline: Monday, July 6, Midnight

Apply Now!